The Beggar's Opera: A Ballad Opera in Three Acts
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Sep 22, 2016 - 68 pages
The Beggar's OperaA Ballad Opera in Three ActsBy John GayThe Beggar's Opera is a ballad opera in three acts written in 1728 by John Gay with music arranged by Johann Christoph Pepusch. It is one of the watershed plays in Augustan drama and is the only example of the once thriving genre of satirical ballad opera to remain popular today. Ballad operas were satiric musical plays that used some of the conventions of opera, but without recitative. The lyrics of the airs in the piece are set to popular broadsheet ballads, opera arias, church hymns and folk tunes of the time.The Beggar's Opera premiered at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre on 29 January 1728 and ran for 62 consecutive performances, the longest run in theatre history up to that time (after 146 performances of Robert Cambert's "Pomone" in Paris in 1671). The work became Gay's greatest success and has been played ever since; it has been called "the most popular play of the eighteenth century." In 1920, The Beggar's Opera began an astonishing revival run of 1,463 performances at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London, which was one of the longest runs in history for any piece of musical theatre at that time.